June 28, 2017

A BILLION HERE AND A BILLION THERE AND PRETTY SOON YOU’RE TALKING REAL MONEY: How Bad Is the Crisis in Illinois? It Has $14.6 Billion in Unpaid Bills.

Hospitals, doctors and dentists don’t get paid for hundreds of millions of dollars of patient care. Social-service agencies help fewer people. Public universities and the towns that surround them suffer. The state’s bond rating falls to near junk status. People move out.

A standoff in Illinois between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic Speaker of the House Michael Madigan over spending and term limits has left Illinois without a budget for two years. State workers and some others are still getting paid because of court orders and other stopgap measures, but bills for many others are piling up.

The unpaid backlog is now $14.6 billion and growing. Illinois is even late paying its utilities bills to Springfield, its own capital city.

Bills that can’t be paid, won’t be.

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